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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Protest continues at Test match
Durham Cricket demonstration
Police have been on friendly terms with demonstrators
Protesters are continuing their demonstration cricket's first Test match in north-east England on Friday.

Protesters against the regime of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe wanted a total boycott of the match at Durham County Cricket Club's ground in Chester-le-Street.

England's game against Zimbabwe is the first Test match at a new UK venue for 101 years.

Earlier this month, exiled victims of President Robert Mugabe's regime staged a noisy protest at the first Test at Lord's cricket ground in London.

The Stop the Tour campaign wanted to mount similar demonstrations inside the Riverside ground, but were blocked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after lengthy talks with the Durham club.

A spokesman for the campaign, whose supporters include human rights activist Peter Tatchell, said demonstrators would continue to confine themselves to peaceful protests outside the main entrance of the Durham ground.

Cricketing officials say the Zimbabwe team are not "ambassadors" of the Zimbabwe government and the test series should proceed unhindered.

Bill Midgley, chairman of Durham County Cricket Club, said any demonstration inside the ground was "unacceptable".

A spokesman for Durham Police said there had been no trouble on the first day of the planned five-day game, which started on Thursday.

The BBC's Chris Stewart
"Police are on first name terms with protesters"

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15 Jan 03  |  Cricket
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14 Nov 01  |  Cricket

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